Saturday, August 27, 2011

The End of August...

...Already??!!  Gah. I feel like just did a blog post about it being the beginning of August...

So this is our final week before life gets back into crazy busy mode. Finally made my way into town and registered the boys for soccer. That's our Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, as well as our Saturday mornings when games start. Scouts is in full swing. Let's see how I can be there on Monday nights AND at the soccer field 40 miles away. Our homeschool group went from meeting every other Friday to meeting every Tuesday. And Masters started! There's my Thursday afternoons.

Whoa. Reading all that is making my eyes glaze over.

Speaking of Masters...

The 4 boys and Dax, who runs the program. (We were hoping for a shot with everyone in their Masters shirts, but those haven't come in yet...will post once that photo op comes to be.)
...the boys had their first day this week. They were so excited! I knew Bailey would be fine for the day, but I was worried how Braeden would do in a group/class setting. With structure. He's a little bit of a talker (dunno where he gets that from, lol) and even he was a little worried about not being able to talk. At least he is aware of his difficulty in keeping his mouth closed, lol. He was also worried about me not being there to help him read something - he was a late reader, remember.

Of course, there was no need for worry. My brain still has issues with processing things like the fact that this is a group of homeschoolers. Homeschoolers who understand that everyone learns at different paces and everyone has different personalities. Not like public schools, where all of the kids are expected to act, think and learn in the same manner.

Both of the boys had an absolute blast and have already asked to make sure we sign them up EVERY year, lol. I told them to at least get through this year to decide, but they both said there was no need. They knew they were going to looooove it. :)

So what are our plans this week?

Braeden is going to read a whole "I Can Read" book. He finally found one he actually wanted to read on clearance at Borders (they are going out of business by the way...if there is one near you that hasn't closed yet, everything is 40%-60% off right now) and he's looking forward to going cover to cover. It's nothing big, but I think that if he can go from start to finish, even if it's only 30 pages, he will feel like he finally accomplished something major in regards to reading. He's improving daily, but I think finishing a whole book will boost his confidence even more.

Bailey is always in the middle of a book, so I don't even know what he's reading right now. If he's reading...I'm trying to tear him away from the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World movie. He and Braeden have watched it about 50 times! I wish I were exaggerating. Bailey informed this week that not only has he watched the movie repeatedly, he has watched all 4 versions of the commentary at least twice. Each. /shaking my head

In his defense though, it's a really good movie...


Ok, where was I?

Braeden will be working on compound words in spelling. These are always fun. Homeschool (har har, I know that one was too obvious), Firefly (yes, that should be capitalized as I'm referring to the TV show, not the bug) and birthday are some of his favorites. Bailey has some geography games on his agenda. Hopefully. We have a short week this week, so it's hard to get them motivated to do anything other than talk about next weekend.

What's next weekend? Just a little thing called Dragon*Con. I might have mentioned it before. Maybe. But only briefly.

What? It's not like I've referenced it in just about every blog post for the last month and a half or anything.

We are heading to the A-T-L a day earlier than normal, so this means we will be arriving Wednesday instead of Thursday. I am so looking forward to this new staff position this year and just hanging out with everyone. It's going to be so different not being at the store and with 95% of our group not being on staff, but I think it's going to be a blast!

I downloaded this nifty blogger app for my phone. I'm hoping this will make it easier to do a quick post or photo from the con....can't wait!

Hope errbody has a wonderful week and safe, fun-filled Labor Day weekend!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

12, 11, 10, 9...

Only 12 days until Dragon*Con! Yeah, yeah, I'm sure errbody is getting tired of hearing about it. But it's a big deal for us. A really big deal. Sure, we love our annual beach vacation. But this...this is DRAGON*CON. It's 4 days of family and friends, 4 days of celebrity sightings, 4 days of costumes and fun, and 4 days of just hanging with 40,000 of my peoples. :D

The boys got their costumes this week and they are super excited about that. Bailey is going to be Aragorn (sigh...he's from the Lord of the Rings trilogy for you non-geeks, lol) and Braeden is going to be Bumblebee. I know, Transformers aren't so much what you'd think for D*C costuming, but he's 7. So we go with it.

Besides being so excited about D*C, this Thursday is the first day of Masters. And this week is soccer sign ups (I was supposed to do that this past week, but I'm a slacker). Our homeschool group has resumed meeting as well and we are going to try and change things up. We are changing our meeting days and have a new location where we are meeting...a very nice recreation outreach center. Hoping these changes bring about new families and great year for our little group!

Still not ready to jump into our school year, but we are baby stepping. We'll continue working on spelling and vocabulary on VocabularySpellingCity (almost love this site more than T4L and that says a lot!!! Lol). Braeden will be working on syllables ("but really Momma...*why* is it si-lent instead of sil-ent?!") and Bailey will be working on some science vocabulary, which is actually a new addition to the site and something different for him.

This weekend holds a trip to Atlanta for Tracy and I (last D*C staff meeting before the con) and maybe a family movie date on Sunday. Rise of the Planet of the Apes looks good. PG-13 is not automatically off limits to the boys. And dear lord...maybe if we bribe them with a semi "grown up" movie, they won't sucker us into seeing Spy Kids 72...or whatever number they are up to now. ;)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Birthdays and a New Arrival!

We have a TON of August babies in our family (both immediate and extended) so there are lots of reasons to celebrate. Shall I list them out for you? Yes I shall...

My neice, Noel - August 6
My dad - August 9
My oldest, Bailey - August 11
My youngest, Braeden - August 13
Scott and his best friend Tyler also on August 13
My little brother - August 17
Mark - August 18

And our newest August baby? My brand spanking new neice, Mariska!!! She made her arrival, fashionably late I might add, on August 12. She is absolutely beautiful, at 8 lbs, 11 oz and 19 inches long. Her mom Katie (Yes, same name, lol) is one of my oldest and dearest friends. She has been "Aunt Katie" to my boys since the day they were born, now I'm finally "Aunt Katie" to her child! I got stuck in Atlanta traffic on the way to the hospital and was afraid I was going to miss her grand entrance, but I got there in time and I am SO thankful I did! Considering that Bailey just turned 12 (funny how she had her right smack in the middle of my boys' birthdays), you could say I've been waiting 12 years to meet this wee one. :)

Yesterday we had a fabulous birthday party for Bailey, Braeden, Scott, Tyler and Mark.

The yummy cakes that Tracy's mom made for all of the birthday boys. I think Q and Z helped her too! :)
The 5 birthday boys, getting ready to blow out their candles. :)

It's always good to hang out with the gang, and considering that the plague hung around here for two weeks (TWO WEEKS! UGH!), it's been far too long since our last gathering. Some Rockband and some birthday cake...good times!

This upcoming week we are going to start getting ready for everything we have starting/coming up at the end of this month, and next. They haven't really done any online summer school work, even though they have been reading and working on spelling. I may make them log in to Time4Learning and just see what their new grade levels hold for them.

August 25 they will begin their first year at MAFA (Master's Academy of Fine Arts). We have been looking forward to this for a couple of years now. Bailey is super excited! Braeden is excited but really anxious. Even though it's been a while since Bailey went to public school, Braeden has never stepped into a classroom of any sort before. It's only 4 hours a day, once a week, but I think it will be really good for them both.

Soccer will also start back up at the end of August! Seems like we just got done with the Spring season, lol. Every season, by the end of the season, we are ready for it to be done. Then every season, at the beginning of the season, we are ready for it to start. :)

The beginning of September finds us at Dragon*Con. Have I mentioned that before? ;)

Then of course, right after D*C, we will officially be starting back to school. 7th and 2nd grades. Crazy how time flies...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August 13, 2004

Seven years ago today I had the little man that filled a whole in my heart that I didn't even know was there. I was terrified that I couldn't possibly love another child as much as I loved Bailey. I will never forget the first time Braeden was placed in my arms. I remember the very first thought I had when I gazed at his little face (besides Sweet Jesus, that HURT! - I ended up having him naturally where as I had an epidural with Bailey that worked perfectly, lol) was "Oh there you are...I've been waiting forever for you!"

While Bailey changed me, Braeden changed all of us. One of my sweetest memories was Bailey placing his little hand on my gigantic tummy before the birth, asking me if I thought he would be a good big brother. I remember telling him he would be a fantastic big brother...and he has been. Braeden absolutely idolizes "Booboo," the affectionate nickname he still calls him, even though he can now say Bailey.

I love this picture! I had made a little onesie for Braeden that Said "Bailey's Little Brother" and a tshirt for Bailey that said "Braeden's Big Brother." The nurses even put Braeden's little footprint on Bailey's shirt for him. Both of them wore these out of the hospital. :)

Funny...I thought my little family of three was complete. Turns out, my little family of four was *just* what I needed.

Happy Birthday, Braeden! I love you, baby! :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

August 11, 1999

Holy clap! I can't believe it was twelve years ago today that my life changed in ways I could have never imagined.

I love both of my boys, so much more so than I could ever put into words. But my oldest holds a very special place in my heart. He didn't just change my life, he changed me. I didn't just become the girl who had a baby boy named Bailey...I became Bailey's Mom. While some people have problems giving up their identity, I didn't. From that moment on, and to this day still, there is no greater feeling for me than to be known as his mother.

The last twelve years have gone by so fast. There are so many firsts I remember, and so many firsts I'm looking forward to.

Happy Birthday, Bailey! I love you, SON! :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

It's Hot.

Yeah, I know it's August. I don't know how it got here so darn quickly. But I know it's August and it's supposed to be hot. But gah...

The boys' birthdays are next week and they are still trying to decide what they want to do. I think we are leaning towards a bowling party, which is something we haven't done for their birthdays before. I keep wondering if this is the year that they look at us and tell us they are tired of having a shared party/get-together (with birthdays two days apart, it's hard NOT to combine them, lol), but so far they still enjoy celebrating with one another. Yay!

With the beginning of August, comes our official countdown to Dragon*Con. SOOOO exciting! The boys are working on their costumes and the hubs is really looking forward to this year. While this will be my 5th year on staff, he decided that he wanted to take this year off and just be a con-goer. I'm really looking forward to the guests this year (though sadly, none will ever be able to replace my Nathan Fillion/Alan Tudyk and James Marsters moments, lol). The three main characters from the American version of Being Human will be there, as will some key characters from Eureka, which the boys are happy about. Of course my favorite authors, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Charlaine Harris (any excuse to say "Sookeh" hehe) will be there again. Adam Baldwin - Jayne from Firefly - is on the schedule. I hope he actually comes this year. I wear my Jayne hat every year as an homage to "Ma Cobb." And even though I'm not a real trekkie, it's cool to know that Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner will appear together again. They did it a couple of years ago and according to many (even those who aren't fans of Star Trek), their panel was one of the funniest of the con.

That's the reason we don't start our school year until after Labor Day. With D*C that weekend, it's hard for us to plan for that AND plan for the start of our school year. Hey...I have to prioritize. ;)

This week, we will continue as we have. Honestly on summer break, but with a little spelling. Braeden is working on sound-alike words, or homophones. Not surprisingly, but and butt are his favorites. :/ Bailey is going to work on some new spelling/vocabulary words from shark week this week. I am also going to try and throw in some handwriting worksheets for both of them. Fingers crossed they won't try to stab themselves with their pencils to get out of doing them...

Hope everyone has a good week and stays cool! :^)